As the days get darker and the nights get colder, winter weather can be particularly harsh on the eyes. Although taking care of your eyes is important all year round, following these simple yet effective tips can help your eyes stay healthy during these winter months!
1. Cold winter winds can be particularly drying on the eyes. When the air is dry, the eye surface loses moisture; this can cause dehydration and irritation, leading to dry eyes. Humidifiers can be helpful in improving indoor dry air conditions; they work by absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and increasing moisture levels in the air. If you notice your eyes are starting to feel irritated or dry it is best to visit an eye clinic to get the best advice.
2. Indoor and central heating can dry your environment and leave your eyes feeling dry and gritty. Try to lower your indoor or central heating slightly and direct any fan heaters away from your face. This can help to avoid your environment from being too dry and to help protect your eyes.
3. Winter colds and flu can leave your eyes feeling sore and painful and could also make them prone to infection. Good personal hygiene such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes can prevent viruses and bacteria from spreading to your eyes and other people.
4. During snowy and icy periods, it is important we take precautionary steps to protect our vision. Did you know that the sun’s UV rays could be reflected from snow? Over exposure to UV rays can cause vision problems so sunglasses are advisable to stay protected from snow reflected sunshine, this will be helpful when driving too!
5. Contact lenses can dry out the eyes and cause irritation. Switching your contact lenses and reaching for your glasses instead could really help during the winter. Glasses may actually help to retain moisture and heat in and around the eye area.
6. Lighting during the winter months tends to be poorer and this may cause strain and fatigue to the eyes. To help try to combat this try using overhead lights and lamps when using a visual display unit, such as computers, tablets and phones, when reading, and doing close up work or activities. This could help avoid eye strain.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
Please call 0800 197 8808 for friendly advice and information.